Truth and Lies

A proper lie does not simply contradict the truth, it redirects it.
 
If I were to stand in front of you flapping my arms and say “HEY LOOK! I’M FLYING!” That would not be a very effective lie as it very clearly contradicts several truths you believe and see. However if I were to tell you I HAD flown, without explaining the method or time. This would be far more believable as your brain allows you to rationalize this.
 
Every effective lie has some nugget of truth to it. Imagine if you will that truth was in fact a straight road that led a certain direction. Lies would be side paths which slowly curve off from it.
 
Much like the poor and lowly frog who is boiled to death in a pot of water that is slowly heated up. We often do not realize what a lie is, until it is far too late to turn back.
 
Why is this important to know? Well for one thing… to realize that lies don’t always seem nonsensical. In a lot of ways, lies can often seem far more rational than the truth. Think of the problems Sherlock Holmes had to face arguing for the true culprit whilst the police were satisfied with their easily explainable catch. Just because something makes sense to you, does not mean that it is true. For we are humans of limited perspective. We are not omnipotent… even the things we “know” we only assume we know. How long did we believe the sky was blue until we realized that was only an optical illusion? How long did people argue that space and time were eternal until we realized there were edges and even holes to both? How long did we feel this planet was all there was until we saw there were planets further still? Do you honestly think that out of the 7000+ years of recorded history, that NOW we understand everything there is to know? That’s a frighteningly foolish thing to believe. Especially when we don’t even understand everything they knew 7000 years ago!
 
The second reason why this is important to know is that there are always areas of our world that we don’t understand due to our limited perspective and often our reaction to these issues are to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. Be they spiritual issues, morality issues, purpose issues… Everyone has something that they would rather just deny the existence of than face and discuss… however the issue with this is that just because you don’t deal with an issue enough to face it, doesn’t mean no one else does.
 
I cannot begin to count the amount of people I know of who have walked down very VERY dark paths simply because the people on said paths were far more willing to discuss topics that had made them curious than the people around them. The promise of knowledge has always been one of the most effective temptations out there… possibly even more than the promise of power!
 
So how do we face truth and lies then? Do we take the currently trending method of believing that EVERYONE is wrong in some way or point and therefore EVERYONE is equally right in our wrongness?
 
This is within itself a fairly dangerous belief…
 
In a way, this belief makes the most sense… If every lie holds some resemblance of the truth, then shouldn’t we simply have to search for the semblance of truth in every lie to understand the world?
 
While the theory is sound. It lacks in one very vital area. That area being that it places YOURSELF in the judging seat as to what is truth and what is lie. And as we have covered several times already; We are VERY limited in our perspective to be able to make such a decision.
 
When people are their own judge of what’s right and wrong, we begin to slowly veer off course into highly dangerous territory. There is no one easier to lie to than yourself, for with each successful lie, your blind spot grows larger with your pride.
 
Why has a vengeful nature become so justified? Why has greed and pride become so celebrated? Why has most anything that feels good become such a constitutional right in spite of any future effects? Because as humans… our only judge of what’s right and what’s wrong is ultimately what feels right and what feels wrong… and bad things feel AMAZING!
 
There is a reason why the most reoccuring description of an irredeemable, sinful country in the Bible always ended with “They did what was right in their own eyes.” What has been more dangerous to mankind in the past 7000+ years than self justification??
 
So what do we need then to balance out our search for truth? Well it will seem redundant…. but to FIND truth, we must first HAVE a truth to compare it to. (Kind of like looking for a colour while having paint swatches and samples) And to know what IS truth… in that area we must have faith….
 
Now “Faith” is treated as a scary word in our culture today… but the truth is that EVERYONE has faith to some extent. You have faith this is Malcolm writing this. You have faith your food isn’t overdo or poisoned in spite of all the people it passed who could do that. I have (sometimes unfounded) faith that my computer won’t crash before I finish writing this status! Faith is not something you can live without. It’s something we all have and use daily.
 
So what is your foundation of what is true and what is not? Do you have faith in a God who came to created us and wants to save us? A god we have to earn favour with? Many gods we have to entertain so we might benefit from them? Do you have faith in a person writing posts online? (wait a minute…) A theory someone came up with to support a theory they had about an observation they made? Your own gut sense?
 
We all have faith in SOMETHING from which we decipher what is true and what is not. An evolutionist would look at the Grand Canyon and say “Man. This proves the earth is billions of years old as it would take that long for that tiny trickle to make this huge canyon. A Christian (As well as several other religions) would look at the Grand Canyon and say “Man. This proves there was a global flood. What else could cause such world shaping?” (Fun Fact: A Creation Story, a Flood, and An end are three of the most common reoccurences in religions) But see how a different foundational truth affects how you justify and rationalize the observations you make??
 
Even with a foundational truth however; there are many who fall back into the first example.
 
To accept a foundational truth is to accept the consequences that come with it.
 
I cannot say that I will be there for you every Tuesday night and then proceed to make plans with someone else. I cannot say I serve a God who loves His creation but then say He’s okay with us destroying ourselves or each other as long as we enjoy it. I cannot say that man was a mistake and then say but you have a purpose for being here. Once I start picking and choosing, I no longer have faith in that foundational truth and am once again having faith in my own judgement which we have already deduced is a very dangerous thing to do.
 
But who is right in the end? Does it really matter?
 
Yes… Yes it does. Even if you don’t feel the affects of it right away… truth is truth no matter how much you believe otherwise. Should I eat a poisoned meal I would still die no matter how much I believed it wasn’t poisoned. Should I believe that I could insult others without anyone caring, they would still be hurt. As much as I can believe I can write these posts without many shaking their heads and some their fists, there are going to be people out there like that. Our faith has no effect on reality…. but it has an effect on us DUE to reality! So choose carefully and keep thinking and observing. This world is tricky but amazing at the same time

What is a Person?

What is a person?
 
Why do I ask this time and time again?? Because honestly… a lot of our current issues and mistakes boils down to this question. What we are, what we aren’t. What we can change, what we can’t. What we’re in control of what we can’t. Are we blank slates? Are we preset? Are we instinctual creatures controlled only by our chemical makeup and carnal desires? Or are we dynamic and sentient beings who are born with temptations and shortcomings yet gifted the ability and responsibility to fight through them?
 
There are many questions which tie to this question…
 
I think the biggest mistake we make in the world today is focusing too much on peoples’ actions… and why not? For most people it is the most we can see. What a person decides on says a lot about their strengths and weaknesses (though even then, we can only see the outcome and not the intentions behind it). But are we really something as simplistic as a series of actions? Do we make choices? Or do choices make us?
 
We judge people by their end. If someone dies a hero, then everything they did was golden. If someone dies a tyrant, then everything they did should never be spoken of. We can claim someone created something beautiful until they do something we disagree with. Then they were making corrupt and horrid things all their lives and we bury our past enjoyments where no one can see that we ever touched them.
 
On the other side of this spectrum, we feel temptations and lose battles ourselves. We end up deciding there is no use fighting as this is who we are. That there’s no future for us because we were just born a certain way. That there’s no path ahead because the one path shown to us won’t hold us. But are we really such simple things??
 
If we are made of our actions than our decisions mean nothing. What’s the point of struggling over something? You’re only going to answer a certain way because that is who you are.
 
Now some may argue that “Struggling over something is part of who you are that will affect the actions you take! So just giving up is not being true to your real self!” as well they should. But the thing is that if there is more than one kind of action we can take, then we are obviously more than the actions we decide on.
 
People change over time. We find new passions. Hobbies. We get influenced by different things which affects our outlook on this world. Our bodies change, through growth, sickness, and tragic loss. There are many things that affect what direction we may be headed currently… yet there is always something that keeps us “us”.
 
I have moved around a lot growing up, and have met many people over many years from around the world. Some are there for a minute, and then are gone for good. Others stay around from time to time. And then there are some who disappear for decades only to be reconnected at the strangest of times.
 
Of the last type, they often come back having gone through all sorts of trials, changed outlooks. Some have changed beliefs, others life purposes. Many do things they would NEVER have done back when I knew them or would have even condemned others for doing……. So why is it then that they are always so easily recognizable? Why is it that no matter how much they change, (and believe me, many have changed IMMENSELY emotionally, spiritually, and physically) Why is it then that there is always something at the core of who they are that makes you think “That is totally _____….”
 
There is something more to people than actions, decisions, and beliefs. Something unique to each of us, yet something we all have. We decide on actions. We mull over decisions. We grow in our beliefs. But there is something at the core of who we are that allows us to face said questions and mull over the possibilities. Something beyond the physical realm as substance abuse, hormonal dabbling, mental degradation, or general growth does not affect it. Something beyond our mental selves as growth in knowledge, change in beliefs, and bitterness or empathy does not corrupt it… call it spirit, soul, or poppycock. There is something there. Some core to who we are… What we are… Something that makes us all unique yet somehow does not put some of us at an advantage or disadvantage from others. To know what that is makes it far easier to not be bogged down with the distractions of who did what and speculation… because it lets you realize we are all people… all with the potential for good and for bad. Yet all desperately in need of the one who can lead us on.
 
We are all unique, yet all the same. All strong yet all dependent. It is a beautiful paradox to be sure

Who Am I?

BUT! While I’ve opened up the can of dimensional worms… I’ll take the time to break into another controversial subject that tends to make my brain hurt more…. Identity…. Just who on earth are we??? What are we??

“Our identity is found in God! We are His children!” Okay yes. I know that answer. Good for you. Have a cookie. I get that response quite a lot but that is not really what I was getting to. For even in the body of God we are designed to be unique from each other in order to fulfill the broad scope needed. We are not meant to run independently but together, relying on each others’ strengths to fulfill our weaknesses. But then what exactly makes our identities?

“We are the chemicals in our bodies!” “We are the results of what those in our pasts have scarred us to be!” “We are creatures of instincts who have been tarnished by delusions of culture and society!” These are more common ones I hear the world come up with. However in this case I find the answers to be surprisingly lacking… or even in some cases saying “The sun gets hot by ice cream melting faster!”

I look at myself, and honestly… who am I? A guy who thinks too much? That is true. Someone who follows God? Well… ya I try… Someone who was outcast as a freak of nature and a monster? That is true as well…

We say “Your past does not define you!” but to tell you honestly it does affect you quite a lot. No matter where I go in life, or what I become, I will always have that darkness within me. There are memories of what I’ve done, images of what I’ve seen, doors which I had opened which can never be closed again.

I have had many a Christian tell me “Well that’s because your faith isn’t strong enough! Don’t you know God wipes you clean?” But I don’t think they quite understand what wiped clean means. I am NOT the person who I was. Nor do I ever hope to be again. But does that mean I never could? No… I am quite aware of what I am capable of… I am quite aware of how tempting it is to realize what I could accomplish if I went back to it. But I CHOOSE to follow God. My past has changed who I am, but I am free from it. Free to follow the new path God has set before me.

In the same way… Are our identities based on our knowledge and memories? It’s true that I was a much different person when I was a lot more naive. A lot more outgoing, adventuresome…. actually quite the idiot (maybe that part didn’t change) but at least I was an honest idiot 😛

But while the people who I have met in life, and the things I have learned have changed me…. can I say that THAT is what my identity is? ….No not really… because even though I couldn’t control what I learned or experienced in life… I could control how I reacted to it. And on top of that, part of who I was… something at my core… affected the way I would react.

I see it all the time in people that I meet. I meet people who are naive, people who are hurt, people who are driven, people who are hiding. There are the things they do. There are the things they try to do. There are the things they never want to do again. But at the same time there is always something else… something deeper…. a core that it is all built upon.

You could send 100 people through the exact same life trial, but there would be a variety of responses to how they reacted to it… because at their core they are different. Why do some people stand up to trials and some shirk away? Why do some people feel entitled while others just figure that is life? There are far too many variables to decide what causes this and what doesn’t….. but this I will say… no matter how much someone changes, reacts, grows, breaks, or more…. there is always SOMETHING about them that will always remain themselves.

Identity is deep… it’s depth goes far beyond what I can seem to comprehend. But I think (especially now) it is important to at least think about. How many world issues now a days rely on identity. The idea of claiming your identity, protecting your identity, not having your identity abused, knowing what you are able to do, not able to do. Where you need to grow, where you need to let go. Identity is a massive topic and I can’t even scratch the surface…. I do believe it goes far beyond our bodies and into our very souls.

This world says your body controls your identity… I say it’s the reverse. While I’m sure a person in pain may be grumpier or less likely to take risky moves than a person not in pain (I can attest) Or someone who can’t think clearly may not use their head as much as someone who can’t NOT think… I do believe there is a HUGE area that people overlook…. the power our identity has over our bodies themselves…. Sugar pills… the placebo effect…. What we believe, what we strive for, what we see ourselves as… our bodies to some extent begin to react to that.

Now I mean there is a limit… believe me… I hit it and it wasn’t pretty…. But at the same time, I think this has a bigger effect on our world than we give it credit for

Turning 26

Originally Posted February 16 2017

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!

And… so I’m 26!……. 25 was a bit of a rough year… not as bad as 22 was, (hopefully nothing will match that one for a while yet) but still pretty rough in a lot of ways. But through struggles, comes realizations and even growth. Sometimes life’s struggles are to beat us down, but sometimes the ride gets rough as we switch from one track to the next, and I’m hoping the latter took place.

There have been a lot of great lessons this past year that I’ve struggled with (and still do to some extent) for quite a while. Learning to turn to others for help instead of trying to carry everything yourself, Learning to not get discouraged by those who tell you to give up, or how you’ll most likely fail… But the most important lesson that I’ve learned is probably… not to aim low.

For far too long I’ve decided to be easily pleased in life… I figured if I aimed a little lower than where I was at in, and allowed myself to be easily content, that I would have a smooth life ahead. I was Shikamaru! (If you know who that is, you get bonus friend points)

Only get into conversations that you know you can sound smart in. Take the beginner’s route through your career while your knowledge is more advanced, keep your head down and don’t ask questions, aim for a simple life, making just enough to get by, with an average family, in an average house, in an average town, etc.

I mean logically it makes sense, I mean, you can win almost any game by grinding out your character up front and then facing the main game overlevelled…. but life is rarely so simple.

Two things I have come to discover.

1: If you aim low you are going to most likely fail…. Yep… this is truth…. Things I would have been fairly decent at 5-10 years ago, I now am horrible at. It’s not like a refresher course… As you grow you start to get off the rails more and more, getting back on them is hard. There are things you aren’t supposed to question that you do. Things that are meant to make life easier for you that trip you up. In a sense, it’s more advanced than it should be!

2. It’s a very unfulfilling way to live… You think that humans desire winning above all else… but this actually isn’t the case. What we desire is overcoming challenges. We need to push ourselves. We need to grow. This desire is so engrained within us, that simply living on autopilot is depressing! Would I have accomplished all that I had aimed for, would I be happy? No, probably not… I’d probably feel trapped and frustrated. In fact, looking back, I realize many times I was my own worse enemy, as I refused to do things the easy way when that was all people wanted from me.

And so now, I want to push myself in life. I want to see how much God can accomplish through me. To be bold in what I pray for. To see just how far I can go within this crazy world!

So here we are at 26… there is still a long uphill road ahead of me, and to tell you honestly I have no idea where it leads…. But I like to think I’m getting closer to the right path. So even though walls still surround me, here’s to the light that lays at the end. Someone woke the dragon, let’s see what it can accomplish!

Intuition vs Impulsive

Originally Posted February 13 2017

Being an intuition based person, I often hear this, and as such feel it needs to be stated;

INTUITION IS NOT IMPULSIVENESS.

Intuition is the body’s ability to observe things faster than the brain can fully register. Impulsiveness is making decisions based on your mood and basic desires.

Intuition still requires discernment. Even though following intuition requires a leap of faith, there is much thought and double checking that goes into it. Impulsiveness is doing without thinking whatsoever.

Intuition is not based on “your feelings” though it is “a feeling” Impulsiveness can be controlled by your mood, hunger, loneliness, or more.

Intuition is a skill which becomes more accurate the more you use it. Impulsiveness becomes more wild and uncontrollable the more you use it.

Intuition is something not everyone will learn. It requires a strong amount of knowledge about yourself while also a strong focus on those and the world around you instead of yourself. Impulsiveness is something anyone can do and most WANT to do. The only restraint we have against it is fear or common sense.

If you are not an intuition based person I can see why intuition based people make you feel uncomfortable. Intuition is not an exact science, nor is it something you have a great deal of control over. However it is more accurate than not, and I will admit, I have far more regrets from NOT following it than vice versa.

If you are not an intuition based person, please respect those of us who are. We can’t always explain our reasons, or understand them fully ourselves, but there is wisdom in our judgements so don’t discount them. To live a life watching people fall into pitfalls you warned them about ahead of time simply because you could not explain them well enough is a rather torturous existence. So when we do give advice, consider it at least

Hollywood Introvert

Originally Posted December 23 2016

I tend to get frustrated with when Hollywood does the trope of the introvert who meets someone who stubbornly pulls them out of their shell, so that by overcoming their fear and social anxiety, they realize how much they are missing out on, and live happily ever after.

I feel there are several rather large misconceptions with this plot device… I won’t lie. Being an introvert CAN be incredibly lonely at times. That part is true. But the reason BEHIND the loneliness I find is what they get wrong.

First error in thinking is that by making an introvert be social, they will no longer be an introvert… No…. Just no… Believe me. I can be very social if I work myself up to it, but it does not stop my introvert self. Because while I do like being around other people from time to time and talking with people, I also find it to be incredibly exhausting and stressful. Especially in large groups. This isn’t founded in a fear of people, or belief that they don’t like me. It’s just the way socializing works when you’re an introvert.

Secondly is the belief that being an introvert is a sign of weakness… that you just need someone to let you into their world, or else you will continue sitting on the outside scared. Truth be told, most of the introverts I have met in life have been the stronger people, showing great insight, knowledge, or emotional intelligence. They tend to be the people who get to know you on a deeper level and are the most likely to truly understand you even better than you understand yourself

But I think the biggest misconception is the thought that a lonely introvert is looking to be a made part of the exciting popular world… This is rarely the case… if that was what was needed, the answer would be simple. We would just join your world…. that’s easy.

When an introvert says they are lonely, it is not saying we are looking for someone to pull us out of our shell to join your world…. it is saying we are looking for someone else who is comfortable in their shell with whom we can be awkward shell buddies with. We aren’t saying we want a lot of friends… but a friend who we can relate to deeply with. We are not asking to be a part of your world, but to find someone who can keep up with our world and enjoy it as much as we do.

Those who try to save introverts, your efforts and heart behind it are appreciated. But if you really do want to show you care, let the introvert be the introvert, and respect the world they live in. There are high chances that world holds more beauty than they’re willing to give up on

Dreamer vs Innovator

Originally Posted September 22 2016

The only real difference between a dreamer and an innovator is ability to see your goals through to the end.

Surprisingly I find that the biggest cause of abandoned dreams is not weakness, lack of motivation, poorly thought out ideas, or being too ambitious…. It’s perfectionism.

There will never be “The perfect time to start” your plan. Nor will you ever have everything work out just as you plan right off the bat.

Life itself is not perfect let alone you. So don’t feel discouraged when plans don’t go your way. It has been said that the difference between an expert and a newbie is that the expert has failed more times than the newbie has even tried.

Now this doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind and go crazy. The purpose of failures are to learn from. So take their lessons to heart. Constantly tweak and adjust your plans as things line up and fall apart. Learn from your mistakes but don’t let them stop you!